Keeping secrets can be the downfall of a relationship, but that isn’t to say that sometimes secrets aren’t a good thing. Sometimes you learn something that sends up red flags and tell you it’s time to cut and run; other times it helps you get to know and love them better. Everyone handles learning new information in different ways. There will always be secrets in relationships, but which are good and which are harmful?
So, when is the right time to keep your secrets? Which ones should you divulge, and when? Here are my tips to avoid secrets in relationships being the end of your relationship.
Keeping Secrets Do’s
Do keep it a secret that you think his brother is hot, his Mom is overbearing, and you slept with his boss back in your intern days? Do keep to yourself your chronic bedwetting until you were 11 and your affinity for eating glue when in grades K-2? Those things are fine to keep to yourself; trust me. Why? Because they are either harmful, irrelevant, or far in your past.
Keeping a little bit of mystery is a good thing and sharing information about yourself in stages instead of puking up your entire life story on the first date is much preferred.
When it comes to wanting to know all about your man, ask yourself if knowing all of his secrets is truly what you want? Do you want to know every single detail about his past relationships, crazy college escapades, and awkward teenage years? Chances are you don’t. Being jealous and demanding these details isn’t going to help you any. Who he is now says much more about him than who he was in the past.
Shortly after college, I started casually “seeing” a guy that I’d crushed on for a long time. I was happy, I assumed he was seeing other people, but I was all right with it as long as it wasn’t in my face. Then I got curious. I asked him one night if he was seeing other people and he took that as an open door to share all the wild nights he was having with other women. I couldn’t look at him the same after that and had to cut things off. Sometimes, it’s really better not to know.
Keeping Secrets Don’ts
Don’t keep the fact that your “little sister” is really the daughter you had at 14. Don’t hide the fact that you don’t want children, have a serious illness, or are a closet speed freak. Those are things your partner should really know about.
I was dating a guy for nearly two years when we were looking for something to do one night and he suggested we go to “his bar”. Now, he’d spoken of going to this bar with friends for “guy time” before, so I didn’t think much of it. Warning bells went off when we entered the first door and were deposited into a small room with cameras pointed at us and a door in front of us with the speak easy sliding window at eye level. I looked at him and he whispered, “Just smile and act normal.” What in the absolute fuck does that mean? I smiled at the camera and the slot opened, he showed his ID and gave his name. A list must have been checked on the other side and we were allowed entrance.
I tried to ask him what the hell was up with the entrance but was quickly told to hush and not ask questions. He seemed to know everyone there, and they were friendly enough to me. It wasn’t until we had left that he allowed me to ask about what that place had been. Apparently my boyfriend belonged to a segregated bar that was against the mixing of races. Say what? I lost my shit. I mean, lost it. How the hell could he belong to a group like that and never tell me? He had plenty of friends in different races so why belong somewhere like that? He had no good answer. I didn’t stay with him much longer.
For the big things, it’s better to share up front than find out later down the line. Once you fall for somebody, there are certain facts you can overlook. You can overlook that he went to 10 Backstreet Boys concerts after you fall in love with him. However, when it comes to larger moral issues and life choices, it’s a huge betrayal to hide those parts of yourself. Be smart. If it’s a big deal to you, then it is going to be a big deal for them as well. Don’t hide what makes you, you.
I don’t believe for a second that there aren’t any secrets in your relationship. It may be as harmless as “Your favorite shirt, yes the one from college that you love, yeah I hate it!” but you have them. The examples I gave are pretty glaring but there is a line that you need to determine, personally, between what you can keep a secret and what needs to be shared. Where does your line lie? Do you tell him you had a sex dream about his best friend? How about if his sister told you that she slept with his friend but begged you not to tell him? Those are some on the fence decisions you’re going to have to make sooner or later.
Communication is key. If you think it’s something that they would be hurt to find out down the road maybe it’s best to tell them now. After all, secrets have a way of coming to light eventually.
Do you keep little secrets or lay it all out there?
Don’t hide the fact that you don’t want children or are a closet speed freak. Those are things your partner should know about. #ICtweetable
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